Posts tagged "1015714"

Commonwealth v. Letkowski (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-157-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11556   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MIKOLAJ K. LETKOWSKI. Hampden.     April 10, 2014. – September 9, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[1]     Kidnapping.  Rape.  Robbery.  Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon.  Intimidation of Witness.  Witness, Intimidation.  Constitutional Law, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Evidence, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Practice, Criminal, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of confession, Argument by prosecutor.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June 8, 2006.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Peter A. Velis, J., and the cases were tried before Daniel A. Ford, J.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Charles W. Rankin (Kerry A. Haberlin with him) for the defendant. Bethany C. Lynch, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     BOTSFORD, J.  After a jury trial, the defendant, Mikolaj Letkowski, was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, armed robbery, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and intimidation of a witness.  The defendant appealed, and the Appeals Court affirmed the convictions.  Commonwealth v. Letkowski, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 847 (2013).  We granted the defendant’s application for further appellate review, limited to issues concerning the prosecutor’s references to the defendant’s invocation of his rights as set forth in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444-445 (1966), at trial.  We conclude that the prosecutor’s references to the defendant’s invocation of his Miranda rights were improper.  We conclude also, however, that in the particular circumstances of this case, the improper references, which were not objected to at trial, did not raise a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice.  We affirm the defendant’s convictions. 1.  Background.  a.  Facts.  The jury could have found the following.  At approximately 11:30 P.M. on April 17, 2006, the victim, a student at a college in Springfield, drove from her off-campus job and entered the parking lot of her campus dormitory.  When she pulled into the parking lot, she noticed the defendant walking on the sidewalk near one of the dormitories.  The victim parked her car.  While she was collecting her belongings from it, the defendant approached her and asked whether she knew where a set of nearby dormitories was located.  After answering […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm

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